UK Uncut are planning protests in Starbucks and MPs are calling on the UK government to “get a grip” on the ongoing corporate tax avoidance scandal. This subject has never before been higher on the political agenda.
The public accounts committee has now published a report on the HMRC’s efforts to claim back tax to the UK from massive multinationals such as Google, Amazon, and Starbucks.
The main issue has been the fact that these companies are said to be taking their UK profits overseas in order to pay less tax on their UK earnings. This is obviously a smart move for any business wishing to save money and pay less tax, however, the ethics of large multinationals has now come under fire here in the UK.
The UK government is now taking action to increase the money available to the HMRC to clamp down on tax avoidance. A figure of 154 million pounds is to be invested into the HMRC to target tax avoidance from large multinationals like Google, Starbucks, and Amazon. Other tax avoidance suspects will no doubt be millionaires who use offshore accounts to funnel money into. There are reports that around £2 billion could be accounted for from this new clampdown on tax avoidance.
There is of course a risk that the UK may lose investment from large companies wanting to conduct their business here in the UK. If the UK becomes hard to do business in, these multinationals may choose to invest less into our economy or worse; pull out of the UK altogether. Of course the latter is somewhat unlikely with the UKs thirst for search from Google, products delivered to our homes from Amazon, and one of life’s little luxuries, a Tall Latte from Starbucks.
So, the question has now arisen, will the UK become anti-business or will these companies fall into line and start paying more tax in order to keep the UK happy?
What are your thoughts on this issue? Comment below…